Digging Into The Data: Fun Numbers From Iowa’s Primary

Now that the dust has settled from Tuesday night’s primaries across Iowa, let’s take a closer look at some of the trends and the county-level turnout numbers. There’s some interesting information there that helps explain what happened, why campaigns end up the way they do and where the Democratic Party is at. Keep in mind, however, that these are all numbers from the “unofficial results.” Late-arriving absentee ballots and other things may change numbers ever so slightly when the official canvass is done later. As always, here’s the spreadsheet I was working with. When Races Swung, They Swung Hard One […]

Abby Finkenauer Wins Primary, Could Be Youngest Woman Elected To Congress

State Representative Abby Finkenauer has won her primary to be the Democratic nominee for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. If she defeats incumbent Republican Rod Blum in November, at 28 she may well be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Another young female candidate in California is running too, but no woman younger than Finkenauer has won a congressional seat before this year. Finkenauer won her four-way primary in convincing fashion, capturing 67% of the vote. Thomas Heckroth came in second with 19%. Iowa’s 1st District will be at the top of the target list for Democrats nationally. EMILY’s List […]

Weekly Round-Up: New Gov Race Opportunities, Fundraising And Endorsements

So, there was a bit of news that happened in Iowa politics this week. The Des Moines Register story on Nate Boulton and his subsequent withdrawal from the race dominated headlines for most of the week. It shook up a still-fluid primary with less than two weeks to go until the election. And it also overshadowed a key anniversary: Kim Reynolds celebrated her one-year mark as governor on Thursday. Let’s take a look at some of the other storylines that didn’t get full stories from Starting Line this week. Norris Sees New Opportunity To Break Out Starting Line caught up […]

Weekly Round-Up: RV Tours, Unique Ads And More Attacks

With just 18 days left until the June 5 primary, there’s more developments from the campaign trail every day than we have to time to write about. Like our story last Friday, here’s our end-of-week roundup piece for all the campaign news we didn’t do full stories on. Abby Finkenauer’s Newest TV Ad Hits Working Families Theme State Representative Abby Finkenauer begins airing her second TV ad for the 1st District primary today. The ad is titled “Good Lives” and focuses in on a working-class families message. Finkenauer is seen talking with locals in a restaurant while she discusses her […]

New Endorsements, Ads And Trips As Primary Draws Closer

With just three and a half weeks remaining in the Democratic primary, the candidates are criss-crossing the state and blanketing the airwaves and mailboxes with ads. They’re also rolling out endorsements from late-deciding leaders to project momentum. Here’s a look at some of the key developments from this week and what’s ahead. The First Gubernatorial Debate Make sure to block off some time this Sunday evening for the Democrats’ first gubernatorial debate. All six candidates gather in Davenport for a debate sponsored by KWQC and the Quad Cities Times – it starts at 6:00 PM and you can watch the […]

Iowa’s Obama/Trump Voters Still Mostly With Trump, Poll Shows

A new poll has warning signs for Democrats in Iowa who are working to win back the voters they lost to Donald Trump in 2016. According to a recently released poll from Monmouth College, 63% of voters in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District who backed Trump in 2016 after previously voting for Barack Obama in presidential elections are still supportive of Trump. And 51% of them said they’d vote for Republican congressional candidates in 2018. One of the biggest questions for the future of Iowa politics is whether Trump’s big win in 2016 was a one-off anomaly or the start of […]

Abby Finkenauer Raises Nearly Half Million In Latest Report

State Representative Abby Finkenauer will post another strong fundraising total for her bid to take on Congressman Rod Blum in Iowa’s highly-targeted 1st District. Finkenauer’s campaign tells Starting Line they raised over $480,000 in the 1st quarter of 2018, bringing her total raised during this cycle to $1.1 million. That’s more than Monica Vernon, the Democrats’ 2016 nominee who was an excellent fundraiser in her own right, raised at this point in the 2016 cycle ($335,000 in 2016’s 1st quarter). It was also accomplished while Finkenauer was putting in many hours for her job up at the Iowa Statehouse – […]

Waxman: Congress Needs Environmental Leaders Like Heckroth

Guest post from former California Congressman Henry Waxman As a long-time member of the U.S. Congress and as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, protecting the environment for current and future generations was one of my top priorities. Throughout the 1980s, I defended the Clean Air Act against attacks by President Reagan, and later helped pass strengthening amendments enacted under President George H.W. Bush. We’ve improved and saved countless lives by limiting urban smog, acid rain, and other toxic air pollution. I introduced the first bill on climate change back in 1992. Having retired from Congress, I am […]

What Are The Next Ten Words In 1st District Race? A Forum Reflection

A guest post from Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker One of the greatest screenwriters of the modern era developed a political television series called The West Wing. While the series came to an end over a decade ago, it has become required watching not only for students of electoral politics, but for all civic-minded Americans. In one of the more popular episodes entitled “Game On,” the president, played by Martin Sheen, has a revelation in the middle of a televised debate. His opponent gives a canned answer to a complex question. The president fires back highlighting the folly of reducing […]

How Congressional Primaries Stack Up With New Fundraising Numbers

Federal candidates’ campaign finance reports for 2017’s 4th quarter were due this past week, and they once again give us a sense of where the money aspect of Iowa’s congressional races stand. The dynamics of the 1st District primary largely stays the same, while the numbers cast a slightly new light on the 3rd and 4th District contests. Starting Line will take a brief look at each district. 1st Congressional District Abby Finkenauer’s $302,000 haul didn’t just surpass all the Democratic candidates in her race and the other districts – she out-raised every single incumbent member of Congress in Iowa, […]